tI am super excited to have my very first guest post, from my fantastic friend and colleague Adwoa Oforiwa. Read on for her delicious vegetarian version of popular African dish, jollof rice.
Adwoa blogs on the topic of solo travel for women at www.passportcheckvisacheck.com
2014 was the year that very nearly broke the internet when the #oscarsselfie went viral, Solange gave Jay-Z that final problem to bring his tally to a round hundred and #jollofgate trended on Twitter after Jamie Oliver offended Nigerians and Ghanaians, West Africans, Africans, Africans across the diaspora with his “recipe” for jollof rice.
Fair enough, the recipe was published on his website to celebrate Ghana’s entry into the World Cup but he had over 4,500 fans of the Black Stars, Super Eagles and Les Elephants up in arms and tapping away on their keyboards and phones to protest at his addition of coriander and a slice of lemon, yes lemon, to the recipe.
You may be wondering what all the fuss was about, but St. Jamie messed with the African continent’s favourite comfort food dish of rice, chicken that is widely eaten and loved across the diaspora(jambalaya is an Americanised version of the same recipe incorporating seafood prevalent in the Louisiana delta region) and nearly caused an international incident.
My version of the recipe omits the chicken and includes more veggies and also optional Portobello mushrooms in its place. A year on from Jamie’s attempt, I hope that you’ll give the recipe a go before invoking the ancestors.
Veggie Jollof Rice
- 1 diced onion
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1-2 whole scotch bonnet peppers
- Half cup of frozen vegetables
- 4 cup of white basmati rice
- 1 Maggi cube* (could be substituted for a vegetable stock cube)
- 1/2 tsp extra hot chilli powder
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder (or finely chopped ginger)
- Coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp urry powder (I use a Caribbean blend)
- Optional : 2 roughly chopped portobello mushrooms
Add the chopped onions to a saucepan over a medium heat and stir until onions caramelise. Add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, spices, Maggi cube and whole scotch bonnet pepper(s). Stir and reduce heat. Allow to simmer for roughly twenty minutes.
After the liquid has reduced and the mixture has darkened to a deeper red, taste and add more dry spices as required.
Add the cup of frozen vegetables and stir. If you require more texture to your jollof rice, add the portobello mushrooms at this point. Stir.
You may wish to remove the scotch bonnet(s) at this point if you don’t want the dish to be too spicy.
Pour in the basmati rice that has been prewashed in water to remove the starch. Add an equal amount of water to the saucepan. Stir and check that the heat is still on low.
It is vital that you stir the saucepan every few minutes to ensure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan and burn because this will affect the flavour of the dish. Feel free to taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
Once the rice has cooked and the liquid has evaporated, your jollof rice is ready! Serve on its own or with seasonal salad and accompanied by an ice cold export strength Guinness or Supermalt to compliment this spicy dish.
*Maggi cube ingredients: Iodised Salt, Sugar, Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate), Maize Starch, Vegetable Fat (Palm), Hydrolysed Soya Beans, Water, Colour (Ammonia Caramel), Onion, Ferric Pyrophosphate, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), Spice Extracts (White Pepper, Chilli, Clove), Flavouring, Yeast Extract